A fantastic last few days

So, it's time to leave Chatel. In fact, it's time to leave the alps, and even time to leave France. Over the last few days I've frantically tried to fit in all the little bits of running I haven't quite managed to tick off yet... And I nearly did it! Two summits on my map remain unvisited, but they are relative piddlers out here (1808m and 1627m) and I'm not as annoyed as I thought I might be not to tick off the lot. It's been a fantastic season, and Friday and Saturday cemented that fact as I undertook an overnight trip up to the Refuge Dent D'Oche (via another five "ticks" on the way).

The weather was pretty rubbish during the day and by the time I reached the refuge at 11pm, having started much later than planned, I was quite damp. However, the rain stopped just before the top and the view of Lac Leman and Lausanne was stunning. Unfortunately the refuge was closed - I knew it was "sans guardian" but I thought there would be a room open - it is a REFUGE after all! Nevermind, I cooked and ate my dinner by moonlight then headed off on what would've been Saturday morning's route, which would take me via another refuge at Ubine. This one was open, but it was now 4:40am so I took my wet clothes off outside, crept in and had a couple of hours' sleep on the kitchen floor. At 6 I set off to grab the last few ticks of the loop back to the van, now in the worst weather of the weekend, and was back by about 8:30 to head down to Thonon for new tyres!

It was an absolutely stunning adventure, the beauty and atmosphere of the high alps, alone by moonlight, are impossible to imagine without being there, but I now feel I have completed what I wanted to do here, and am ready to go home. Here are a few photos from the adventure...

Blue sky!


Vacharesse looking nice as the rain clears

The storm clearing up Lac Leman as it got dark

A sad sign to see on a summit

Il pleu
General darkness

Last col...

The last scrambled section up the refuge - chains to the left
Stunning view of Lac Leman, Lausanne (r), Geneva (l) and the Abondance valley from near the summit of Dent D'Oche.
Not a great photo but an incredible view.

Delicious tuna and salad dressing pasta :)

Dinner at refuge Dent D'Oche

The night section by moonlight

Coming in to Ubine in the cloud 
Three crosses at Pointe D'Autigny summit

And back to the van!

Drying out and eating breakfast in the bus shelter


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